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Recommended saw?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Stoneduster, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Stoneduster

    Stoneduster New Member

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    Hello! I am starting to think about a new saw, and would like to hear from some more experienced folks on the subject. I want a quality saw, with sound components that will give me many years of faithful service. I don't cut that much, the most it would probably see is 5 cords a year, but I would like it to zip through that 5 cords, so my wife doesn't leave me for a man with a faster saw, and consequently more time to cuddle. I went to find an air filter for my Husqvarna 235 (I know), and it turned into a 45 minute conversation at the saw shop. I walked out of there feeling like I wanted a fuel injected saw from the lower end of the commercial line. I believe the specific model was a 562xp, though I am not sure. I am not opposed to Stihl either, I have a TS420 cutoff saw for my masonry work, and it serves me very well. I am willing to spend $500-$700. I know this is a difficult question to ask, as I am sure there will be as many different responses as there will be responders. I am just hoping to find an average sentiment on the subject. Thank you.
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  2. Stoneduster

    Stoneduster New Member

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    I never even got the air filter. And there is also a good chance that a new saw will strain, rather than improve, my marriage.
  3. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    You can make this as easy or as difficult as you want. If you like Husky saws (like me), the dealer, and depending on the bar you want to run, I'd get;

    18" and under 346XP or 550XP
    20-25" bar, a 562XP
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Hmmm.

    How big of a bar do you need? Will 16"-18" do? MS261 or the 550XP will fit that budget with lots of room to spare for extra chains or a second bar. (16" and 20" would be my recommendation)

    Or just haul home a 562XP or a MS362 wearing a 20" Bar. That will be at the very top of your budget but It's generally more than enough saw for 95% of the firewood cutters out there.
    StihlHead likes this.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Right now I'd buy the MS 362.

    I'd wait for the 2nd generation of the 562XP to come out.
    They've had some New saw" issues that usually get worked out in the next generation.

    I've looked real close at both & like you , it's between the 2.
    Either would last many years & do a good job for you.
    For you to look at :) :

    25 - MS362.jpg Husq562XP.jpg
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    As a firmly biased 361 owner, I'd say 362. That will put you right at the upper limit of your price range, but you'll gain a lot of productivity over a smaller saw. I have read a lot of posts on this board and have yet to read about someone with a 036/360/361/362 that didn't enjoy the heck out of that saw.
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    If you want speed, then a 60cc saw that competently runs 3/8" pitch chain is your starting point. That would be the previously mentioned 562XP or MS362. (My personal preference would be a 20" bar on those)

    Get to the dealers to feel them in your hands. If you want lighter weight, go with those 50cc saws previously mentioned. They're no slouches, but there's a noticeable speed jump froma a 50cc saw with .325 pitch chain to a 60cc saw running 3/8 pitch chain.

    Right now I have multiple saws from 29cc to 80cc, yet I tend to use my 50cc 346XP (16" .325 .050) the most because it's the lightest and just plain fun!
  8. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    A 50cc saw really needs a big brother...like a 70+cc to be able to handle most jobs. A 60cc saw is a good one saw plan.
    TreePointer likes this.
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    What he said...

    'cept the Huskies have outboard clutches so I prefer the Stihls. I also prefer the 361 over the 362 in the Stihl line. And for grins, get one 50cc and one 60cc saw, a set of interchangeable 16, 20 and 25 inch B&C and never look back. If you can only get one now, buy the 60cc saw.
  10. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    That part in bold is the most important part. If you do not have the money for a new saw, and it will be an issue in the marriage, then do not get a new saw if you put your marriage ahead of chainsaws. Trust me, divorces are way more expensive than saws or heating the house. Then again, sometimes relationships just do not work (e.g., when one party spends all the money while the other tries to save it all). With that said, I am lucky in that money is not a huge issue in my marriage and my wife pretty much allows me to get any tools I want. However, our retirement plans, kids' college funds, and other things are priorities before saws. She also understands that I would NEVER spend the money on a new saw if I we did not have the above priorities taken care of. So, start with a discussion with your wife. First point out that cutting wood saves a ton of money on the heating bill. For me, I would guess that we saved $2,000 on our heating bill this year compared to last year and last year we were only heating certain rooms in the house with space heaters to 68 degrees, not like we heated the entire house to 75 degrees this winter. So, cutting wood really is not an option. It must be done. Next, ask your wife what is more important, having extra time to spend with her or saving money by not buying another saw. I would always recommend some sort of backup saw though. Nothing sucks more than going somewhere to cut wood and having a broken saw or a saw that will not start. The only thing almost as bad as that, is getting your only saw pinched in a cut. Maybe start a "new saw savings fund".

    I have a 50cc and 90cc saw, and they have been able to handle anything I have attempted to do. If I had to go with a single saw for everything, I would go with the MS362. If you are keeping your Husky as a backup, I think that would still be the saw I pick in your situation. Then again, it depends on what you are cutting. If you are cutting mostly 18" and less, then go with the MS261. I really like that saw and its weight. Of course, it could handle stuff up to 36" and slightly more with an 18" bar on it, but it would not be an optimal saw for something like that.

    With all that said, I am really thinking about getting a MS362. Hoping there is money left in December for me to get it for Christmas instead of having to wait for next tax season. After this tax season I am getting the MS192c-e.
  11. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    Beetle-Kill likes this.
  12. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Como likes this.
  13. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    Wow

    The one off 6th?, I was in their a few weeks ago, did not know they even stocked them.
  14. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It's pretty impossible to buy the wrong saw in the $500-$700 range.

    Hope this helps.
    Thistle, smokinj, Nixon and 1 other person like this.
  15. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    The 6400/6401/6421 is a nice saw, but it may be more weight than you want to handle. Stop into a Home Depot with a rental center to get a 6421 in your hands before you order online.

    It's not a lot of weight if you put a 79cc or 84cc top end on one. ;)
  16. Gripptide

    Gripptide Member

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    I am by no means an expert in this area, but for 5 +/- cords a year, an MS261 will do you just fine. I got mine in the Fall and processed about 10+/- cords of Sandy wood with it with no issues what so ever. I think that will also be in the lower end of you price range.
    Clyde S. Dale, tbuff and TreePointer like this.
  17. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I really do like my MS261, but I think the size of the saw purchased really depends on the size of the logs you are going to tackle, not the amount of wood that you are going to tackle. The MS 261 is great until I have to get into the big stuff that is 30"+. Then, the MS660 really shines. That is the reason I am looking at getting a MS362 (for the heck of it).

    Now, what grade saw you purchase depends on how much wood you are going to tackle (e.g., homeowner, mid range, pro). At 5 cords a year, I am willing to bet a homeowner saw will get the job done. Just not as nicely as a pro saw. For instance, we can compare a MS290 (Farm Boss) with the MS261. The former is a mid range saw and the latter is a pro saw. They both have about the same power and can run the same length bars on them. However, the pro saw is 2 pounds lighter and built to last a little longer than the mid range saw. I am pretty sure that plenty of firewood has been cut with the MS290.

    If money was tight, I would have gone for a mid range or homeowner range saw instead of the pro saws that I bought. Pretty sure even a homeowner saw would have lasted me a decade or more at the rate I cut wood. However, it sure would have been tough to tackle some of these monsters I have been dealing with lately.
  18. I've had homeowner quality equipment and in my mind is not worth ever buying. From paintbrushes to tractors pro quality is worth paying for in my mind. Usually means you can do a better job quicker and often times safer.

    That being said pro grade is expensive. I've been buying and selling on cl to pay for my habit. :). I'm 35 and figure if I get good quality stuff I will get my money out of it in the end though. I just bought a new stihl 660 not because I really needed it but I will use it and it should last my lifetime of cutting wood. And I had just made more than enough profit to pay cash off a stove I just sold.

    If money was tight I'd buy used pro grade. Can always resell later.
    Thistle likes this.
  19. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    562xp
  20. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I am the opposite about used stuff. I hate buying anything used. My dad always said "Why buy somebody else's problems." I like buying something new, treating it right, and having it almost forever.

    I agree with you about pro grade saws and pro grade everything else. I generally buy the best item available. However, I am fortunate enough to have the money to do so. Like my comparison, I am pretty sure a Farm Boss will cut plenty of wood for quite a long time. If somebody cannot afford a pro grade saw right now but needs one to cut firewood, might as well buy a lower end saw that will get the job done and allow them to save on the heating bill. By saving money on the heating bill, hopefully that will free up additional money down the road for a new saw in a different niche or a better grade saw in the same niche as the Farm Boss and the Farm Boss can be put on CL or ebay.
  21. I hear you on buying other peoples problems. But there are good deals to be had on like new equipment if you are patient. Excellent condition chainsaws seem to bring close to retail though :(. That's why I bought new.
  22. 385xp, nice little all around saw.
  23. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    My new two saw plan=385 for limbing and 3120 for felling/bucking. Easy day
    Thistle and mikefrommaine like this.
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    How big are you? _g
  25. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    175;)

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